Often, the men carried only a spear thrower, spears, and those weapons needed to procure the animals native to his territory. The women carried the rest - babies, household untensils - to leave the men free to use the weapon.

Full use was made of natural resources to produce whatever possessions were needed. String, cord and hair were woven into nets, baskets, mats and fishing lines. Wood and bark were used to make dishes, shields, spears, and boomerangs, to make dogout canoes, and other types of watercraft, such as rafts. Stone was chipped to form tools that could be used as weapons, or to cut and carve wood. Large pebbles and flat stones were used to grind seeds to flour. Pieces of bone were sharpened into spear points, and even used as needles to sew together skin for cloaks and rugs. Skins of animals were treated to carry water, and in some places human skulls were used for the same purpose.

Clubs, nets, snare and spears were used to catch different types of animals and birds. Large animals were speared or clubbed, smaller ones caught in pits and nets. Fish were speared, or caught with traps, and sometimes water was poisoned with plant juice. The foot tracks of animals - and of every member of the group - were recognized. After years of training, the Aboriginals developed extraordinary skills in tracking their prey, by following broken twigs, or by very faint markings, even an hard ground.

Many ingenious devices were used to get within striking distance of prey. The men approached their prey running where was cover, or "freezing" and crawling in the open. They were careful to stay downwind, and sometimes covered themselves with mud to disguise their smell.

Mud also served as camouflage, or the hunter held a bush in front of him while stalking in the open. He glided through the water with a bunch of rushes or a lili-leaf over his head until he was close enough to pull down a waterbird. He prepared "hides" and, with bait or birdcalls, lured birds to within grabbing distance. He attracted emus, which are inquisitive birds, by imitating their movements with a stick and a bunch of feathers or some other simple device.

The catch of the hunters was in addition too, not always constant, to the daily plant food and small animals gathered by women. Women collected the larger part of the group's daily needs, and their skill in finding food, even in the poorest conditions, often kept the group alive. Fruit, manna, honey, lizards, snakes, witchetty grubs, roots, yams, grass seeds - almost anything grew, or moved could be used for food. The women then usually prepared and cooked the food in an earth oven.

As Aboriginals had to make use of the natural materials available in their area, huts were often made from bark and boughs, sometimes flimsy and sometimes more substantial, depending on the climate, the time of the year, and the lenght of time that the group forced to remain in one camp.


Word Translation Word Translation
to procure beschaffen native einheimisch
possession der Besitz bark die Rinde
canoe das Kanu raft das Floß
chipped angeschlagen pebble der Kieselstein
to grind zermahlen flour das Mehl
to treat behandeln club die Keule
snare die schlinge speared aufgespießt
clubbed erschlagen pit die Fallgrube
to recognize erkennen to develope entwickeln
extraordinary außergewöhnlich prey die Beute
twig der Zweig faint schwach
ingenious erfinderisch device Trick
to approach sich nähern to crawl kriechen
to disguise tarnen to serve dienen
camouflage die Tarnung to stalk pirschen
to glide gleiten to lure ködern
to grab schnappen to attract anlocken
inquisitive neugierig to gather anhäufen
lizard die Eidechse witchetty grubs große Marde
yam die Jamswurzel grass seed der Grasssamen
hut die Hütte bough der Ast
flimsy nicht stabil substantial solide
forced gezwungen to remain bleiben